Popular science and Book reviews


In this publication series you will find book reviews and popular scientific articles, including opinion pieces. The majority of the articles are available for download.

Only papers in English are listed on this page. The complete list of book reviews and popular scientific articles can be found on our Swedish page.

OECD International Transport Forum, August 3, 2017

Structural Change and the Freight Transport Labour Market

Mårten Blix

Nations that have managed to become rich have had institutional features that supported incentives for value creation while ensuring that the ways insiders and special interest groups can extract monopoly rents are limited. Improved skills have been a central component of helping individuals and societies to adapt to technological change.

As technological progress has led to the disappearance of many difficult and arduous jobs, many new jobs have been created with higher skill content, leading to better productivity and real wage growth. In the long run, the modern economy is set to continue to create new jobs, especially in the service sector.


The Swedish Labour Policy Council, July 14, 2017

The Duality of the Swedish Labour Market

Lars Calmfors, Petter Danielsson, Ann-Sofie Kolm, Per Skedinger and Toumas Pekkarinen

There are two key developments in the current labour market in Sweden. On the one hand, there is a strong economic upturn fuelled primarily by domestic demand. This means that the non-tradable sectors are doing better than the tradable sectors. There are labour shortages, particularly in the public sector and in the private service sectors. On the other hand, it is difficult for the low skilled, particularly those who are foreign born, to enter the labour market. Both these problems are considered in this report.

International Profiles of Health Care Systems, May 31, 2017

The Swedish Health Care System

Anna Häger Glenngård

All three levels of Swedish government are involved in the health care system. At the national level, the Ministry of Health and Social Affairs is responsible for overall health and health care policy, working in concert with eight national government agencies.

At the regional level, 12 county councils and nine regional bodies are responsible for financing and delivering health services to citizens.

At the local level, 290 municipalities are responsible for care of the elderly and the disabled. The local and regional authorities are represented by the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions (SALAR).

2017-04-26 VOX - CEPR

Political selection and the path to inclusive meritocracy

Ernesto Dal Bó, Frederico Finan, Olle Folke, Torsten Persson and Johanna Rickne

Ancient Athenians drew lots to determine who served in public office, but oligarchs at that time (and ever since) have argued that there is a trade-off between competence and fair representation. This column uses Swedish population data on cognitive and leadership ability to argue that democracy in Sweden has created government by competent people who are representative of all walks of life. Sweden’s inclusive meritocracy suggests that electoral democracy can help us avoid the tension between representation and competence.

Milken Institute Review, January 17, 2017

The Swedish Economy Triumph of Social Democracy – or Serendipity?

Andreas Bergh

In 2016, Sweden came out on top of the Reputation Institute's yearly ranking of 55 countries according to how people viewed them as places to live and work. The same year, Sweden outranked 162 other countries to reach the number-one spot in the Good Country Index, based on its ranking on 35 UN and World Bank criteria ranging from living standards to environmental sustainability.

Financial and Institutional Reforms for an Entrepreneurial Society (FIRES), January 13, 2017

Policy Brief on Institutional Reform for Enhanced Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Europe

Niklas Elert, Magnus Henrekson and Mikael Stenkula

We argue that institutional changes in a liberalizing direction are a sine qua non for economies of the European Union to become more entrepreneurial in order to promote innovation and economic growth.

However, this does not mean that one-size-fits-all policy reforms towards freer markets are likely to be successful. An important reason is that the 28 union member states have very different histories, and distinct institutional structures, affecting their efficiency and the viability of reforming them. 

2016 Centre for the Study of Market Reform of Education

Who’s to produce and who’s to choose

Gabriel Heller Sahlgren

The question how should the qualifications of students be assessed is one of the most defining and important aspects of any education system.

Financial and Institutional Reforms for an Entrepreneurial Society (FIRES), July 28, 2016

Policy Brief on The Institutional Evolution of Labour Market Institutions in Europe and Entrepreneurship

Gerarda Westerhuis and Magnus Henrekson

What is the impact of labour market institutions on entrepreneurial activity? Recently it has been argued that flexible labour market institutions have a positive influence on entrepreneurial activity. No doubt, labour mobility is an important condition for entrepreneurship.

The institutions governing the allocation of labour and talent in society enable entrepreneurs to develop their businesses and affect the willingness of employees to be(come) entrepreneurial. We analyse these institutions by reviewing labour market regulation in European countries from a historical perspective. We focus on three pillars: regulation of labour markets, wage-setting institutions and social insurance systems.

An Agenda for Europe

Institutional Reform for Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Omslag 2017 Institutional Reform for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.jpg

The authors of this book, Niklas Elert, Magnus Henrekson and Mikael Stenkula, advise the economies of the European Union to become more entrepreneurial in promoting innovation and economic growth. The authors propose a reform strategy with respect to several aspects to achieve this goal.


Seminars organized by IFN


To present ongoing research informal brown-bag seminars are held on Mondays at 11:30 am. This is an opportunity for IFN researchers to test ideas and results.

Academically oriented seminars are most of the time held on Wednesdays at 10 am. At these events researchers from IFN and other institutions present their research.

In addition, IFN organizes seminars open to the public. Topics for these are derived from the IFN research.

Research Institute of Industrial Economics, Grevgatan 34 - 2 fl, Box 55665, SE-102 15 Stockholm, Sweden | Phone: +46-(0)8-665 45 00 | info@ifn.se